Cape Town – American hip hop star Yasiin Bey, formerly known as Mos Def, was ordered by the Bellville Magistrate’s Court to leave South Africa after he was arrested for overstaying his visa term, the department of home affairs confirmed on Friday.
Home affairs spokesman Mayihlome Tshwete said the court could impose a fine. However it was now up to the department to decide for how long the rap star - whose real name is Dante Terrell Smith, 42 - would be barred from returning to South Africa.
“He overstayed his visa. The court made an order but it is then for the department to decide in a separate process the length of time for which he will not be allowed to re-enter South Africa.”
Bey was arrested after he attempted to leave the country from Cape Town International Airport on January 9. He has been living in South Africa for nearly two years, along with his wife and children.
It is understood that the family arrived in the country on visitor’s visas which allowed them to stay for 30 days at a time, and regularly left and returned but at some point abandoned this precaution.
“The department of home affairs wishes to confirm the arrest of Mr Dante Terrell Smith – also known as Mos Def and/or Yasiin Bey- for contravening the immigration laws of the Republic,” the department said.
“He entered the country using an USA passport on a tourist visa. On 9 January 2016, Mr Smith attempted to depart the country from the Cape Town International Airport by producing an unrecognised ‘World Passport’ which was declined by immigration officials.
“Further investigation into the matter revealed that Mr Smith’s wife, mother and four children had overstayed and were sojourning in the country illegally.”
The department said Bey’s wife, his mother and four children had also been ordered to leave the country within 14 days.